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Culture, Maternal Health Care, and Women's Status: A Comparison of Morocco and Tunisia

Carla Makhlouf Obermeyer
Studies in Family Planning
Vol. 24, No. 6 (Nov. - Dec., 1993), pp. 354-365
Published by: Population Council
DOI: 10.2307/2939245
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2939245
Page Count: 12
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Culture, Maternal Health Care, and Women's Status: A Comparison of Morocco and Tunisia
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Abstract

This report assesses the role of demographic, socioeconomic, and cultural factors in explaining differentials in maternal health-care use in North Africa. Analyses of the Demographic and Health Surveys for Morocco and Tunisia show substantial differences in the use of prenatal care and in the proportion of home compared with hospital births, both within and between the two countries. The findings raise the question of whether lower use rates are a reflection of the low status of women. The question is addressed first through a statistical analysis of the differences within the two countries in terms of the demographic, socioeconomic, and educational characteristics of individuals, and second, through a comparison of the social context, health-care systems, and population policies of the two countries. The findings are interpreted in light of field research on the cultural context of maternal health care.

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